"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live."
Like many of my brothers and sisters in the Lord, I was not always a Christian. Heck, like many others I thought a life with Jesus Christ were for nuns, aspiring prudes, and church camp nerds. At one point in time I was considering myself agnostic. During my "dog-in-heat ready to whiz on every fire hydrant days," I was quick to select the "agnostic" choice on dating websites I frequented back in 2007. Yeah...I fell that far.
During my earlier years up until I got out of college, I had some belief in God, but never desired to go all the way with faith. I had a form of Christianity limited to the off-the-head knowledge of my dad plus a little catholicism thrown in there. Ironically, it was this head knowledge that thwarted my brother and I from getting tatoos, indulging heavily in materialism, and at least going through water baptism. These things were blessings, but still not enough.
Pornography played pivotal role in my debauchery. For years I struggled with porn which dramatically affected my perception on women, the world, and myself. I strived to have the body of the guys in porn movies that were heavily aggressive towards women during sexual scenes. Seeing guys with above average sizes made me feel less than average; and for years especially in early adolescence I felt extremely insecure. I eventually gave into the thoght that the more women I had sex with, the more I validated my sexual image and personal reputation.
In my first relationship, I began to see my girlfriend as not good enough because my standard of women was set to moaning women who "likes it all kinds of ways" burned in my imagination. And if she didn't perform to that standard, I wreaked havoc on her emotions and self-esteem because ultimately I had a low self-esteem.
It wasn't until my time in Austin, Texas where I believe I began going through a transition. Back in 2007, I became more promiscuious, vowing in my heart to "taste the rainbow" as I purposed to have sex with as many women across different cultures in Austin as I could. My girlfriend at the time felt the effects of this as I confessed to her that "I'm done being in a relationship," apathetically. My apathy towards her grew into cheating behavior: going on dating websites behind her back and meeting up with women while she worked. Until one night my behavior caught up to me; hurt people hurt people. Finally all the emotional pain I inflicted was reciprocated to me in physical pain. A night of arguing went from bad to worse where I called the cops and I went to jail for one night.
Talk about karma.
Since that horrific evening, I spent three years going back and forth to court, visiting a lawyer, and praying throughout the process that this doesn't go on my records. Fortunately, I was able to get out that relationship and move out the apartment we shared. Unfortunately, old habits stayed with me; and as a single man, I was still determined to taste that rainbow.
Yeah I "scored" several times, but after those one-night stands or getting what I wanted, inside I was as a decaying carcass...everytime I "got some" some of me would leave. And it didn't feel good. Soon, as a vampire, my sexual hunger grew and I cultivated my charm, charisma, and personality to be weapon to capture prey. I honestly did not care about the lives, personality, welfare, childcare, or livelihood of the girls I gamed. My heart race and blood rushed to the important parts of my body when I felt closer to getting inside of a woman in order to fulfill something I was missing on the inside.
Alas what goes around comes around. As I write this, I realize that I was being held accountable. Romans 12:19 says, "'Vengeance is mine; and I will repay it,' says the Lord." During my three year hiatus from relationships, I continued to play the field, heavily playing around online and offline. But I soon realized that the field was playing me. Girls stood me up, some that I dated were sleeping with other guys simultaneously...it got real bad. The same actions I portrayed soon returned back to me. It didn't feel good...AT ALL! I slowly came crawling to God as I felt control of my love life slipping through my fingers.
It was also during this time I began subconciously adopting a poverty mentality. Bills became tight as a single man and I didn't believe in abundance for myself. I always thought that the ultimate sign of humility if you want God to recognize you was to accept that money was evil and I didn't need much of it. This caused me to become complacent, close-minded, and settling in ignorance from a limited understanding. Something had to change.
After finally getting fed up with internet dating, me being the one played, and a limited lifestlye, I prayed to God for a wife.
And one week later, he sent me one.
We met at a poetry outing and begin to date from there. One day we went to a mall, went inside Spencer's Apparel, and tried on some ball caps just being silly. When we looked in a mirror together, something inside me said, "This is your wife." I'm not going to sound spooky and make it seem like it was an audible voice, but it was more of a feeling. We started dating frequently after that until a year later we were married.
October 2010, is the month I got saved. I was in my apartment one last time living separately as my wife, who was my girlfriend at the time, lived in her own place. Many men will say in this situation that "She saved my life." I'm going to correct this statement: "The Lord used her to save my life." I recognized how the Lord was working in my life and sincerely decided to give it over to Him. As I sat on my futon in my bachelor pad, I picked up a Daily Bread booklet next to me and confessed with my mouth that I believe Jesus is Lord and God raised Him from the dead.
The next morning I woke up and suddenly something inside of me felt on fire. I couldn't stop talking about how much I love the Lord and how much joy I began to feel. I immediately could see a change in my nature and character. I exchanged my verbal confession of how much I love the world to how much I detested it's ways. I loved the world so much that I use to beg God not to end it, but now I can't wait for the day to see our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ face to face as that is a higher reward than anything found on this planet.
And that's the end of my Christian story. Sorry there's no sobbing tragedy where I almost lose my physical life, near death experiences, death bed account, or any other extremes that are gut wrenching or tear jerking. But what is tragic is how I allowed my sinful nature and sexual appetite to control my actions. Who knows what path that would've led me except death for "the wages of sin are death"(Romans 6:23). I am happy to know that the only life I strive to lose is the life that will transition into eternal life Jesus talks about in Matthew 16:25: "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it."
On that note, let's all be like Paul and die daily to the cross (1 Corinthians 15:31).
Accidents happen; usually not by accident. If success and fortune (uh not too keen on fame anymore; that was sooo yesterday) is the light at the end of the tunnel, then writing was the train to take me there. Of course I didn’t have this realization until college—when corporate america tainted the purity of my novel idea converting my dream into a novelty. Still, humble beginnings were abound.
In my adolescence, when I was struggling to understand my emotions and the world made very little sense to me, I would grab a sheet of paper to practice making the abstract into something simple. I had an early fear of death—unbeknownst to what waited for me when either old age, a car accident, or a bullet took my life. Even B.C. I was fascinated with God and Bible Prophecy. With such concerns stealing my attention, I began to write about my feelings in a not-so-journal formality. I wrote essays which sounds very…very…I don’t know how you say…weird? That almost sounds a bit too much like an English major in the making…or maybe suicidal a la the last days of David Foster Wallace?
Writing soon appeared in many different forms: note jotting, list building (because we know how much we ALL love list), reminders just to name a few which unknowingly made it’s way into my heart. It began to feel like a super power as notice early words were easy for me to manipulate, but I still didn’t quite know how to give my talent direction. It was akin to the mutants in the X-Men universe where during the teen years of an emerging mutant they discover their powers which are uncontrollable. Through constant, consistent training and opportunities presented to test their powers, they got better. No difference here except my opportunities were research papers, love letters, poems, resumes, and of course more essays.
From middle school to college, I had some wonderful teachers cheer me on in developing my craft. My 8th English teacher, I’ll never forget Mrs. Moore, taught me that “conversate” is not a word: “Use ‘converse.’ You’ll impress aristocracy with your supreme knowledge of knowing the difference.” Okay I don’t really remember if Mrs. Moore actually said this, but I thought a misquote would be a great opportunity to feed my writer’s ego to impress the uninitiated. If Mrs. Moore led me to the well, then my High School teacher Mrs. Terrell enticed me to drink the water and encouraged me to flavor it with kool-aid. My goodness, The Canterbury Tales has never been more fun. She challenged me in ways I never anticipated which has made me the author “austere“ I am today.
Now he we are. Today. My English degree has survived many hardships: “You majored in English? You must want to be a teacher.” No, but it happened. “Aren’t you a starving artist.” No comment. “What do English majors do?” Uh…we write and correct society for grammatical sins which they atone for through grueling insults lobbed over their heads for failing to fix their faults in the first place. But I digress. I am a writer to the fault—one book in the can (If God Is Not for Me, Then He Must Be Against Me!) and many more to come out of hiding. The popular consensus is that “everyone has at least one book in them.” But everyone isn’t a writer…so how is it going to come out?
Two words: network marketing. Yeah.
Well What does that have to do with Web Design? It was all my experience doing network marketing that made web design fall into my lap. Allow me to write a formula:
network marketing --> internet marketing --> blogging on blogger --> messing around with HTLM --> Going to DeVry --> Here I am today.
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